Sustainability and Waste Management for Schools

There is no better place to learn about sustainability – and to put it into practice – than in the School environment.’

Its the perfect place to incorporate eco-friendly practices into our daily routine that can have a lasting positive impact on the environment. We can all do our part to make this school year the greenest ever.

Here is a handy link from the Australian Government about Sustainability in Schools

With that in mind we thought we should offer some waste management suggestions for parents, students and educators, and practical tips to make this school year more sustainable by reducing, reusing and recycling right, both in and out of the classroom.

Below, we will cover some of the different ways that schools can become more sustainable. Feel free to use this list as a project inspiration!

Minimize the packaging waste your daily school snack and lunch create.

You can do this by ditching those disposable bags and packing lunches in reusable containers. Some schools even have what they call a Nude Food Day once a week. This involves only bringing food to school that doesn’t need to be packed. So no waste is generated.

Support the circular economy:

Make the grade by purchasing school supplies made from recycled materials. You could make this a project or learning experience, perhaps by getting the students to research different buying choices, where the products are sourced from and the materials used in their manufacture – and the benefit to the environment by making better environmental buying choices.

Donating items no longer needed:

As you make room in the closet for all the latest back to school fashions, consider donating unused items to a local charity.

Repurpose or recycle your school E Waste

When upgrading to the latest computer, tablet or phone, recycle your old device properly or consider donating it to a local non-profit – electronics should never be placed in the trash or recycling.

E Waste contains valuable metals that can be extracted and made into new things. Plus, if E Waste goes to landfill, some of the toxic chemicals used in their manufacture could over time leach into the environment.

E Waste disposal and E Waste recycling services using wheelie bins

Make it easy for people to recycle.

Place clearly marked recycling containers in common areas at school, home and work.

Doing this makes it clear that there is an expectation that recyclables won’t end up in landfill, and your school makes it easy for people to do the right thing.

Having clearly marked systems to capture recyclables helps train new students and visitors to the school about where to p[lace things.

Share the Love

Help others to do the right thing – if you know where or how to recycle something and someone else doesn’t, share the information and help us all to improve!

Make sure you know and teach others the three basic rules of recycling, both in and outside the classroom:

1) Recycle bottles, cans and paper. There are some fantastic statistics around that show the benefits of recycling. Less trees cut down. Less water used from the environment. Less fossil fuels burned to make electricity to make more metal. The list is incredible. More on that in another post!

2) Keep food and liquids out of the recycling – foods can be composted by either implementing a food waste recycling service or perhaps a worm farm or school garden.

3) Keep plastic bags out of the recycling.

Plastic bags can clog sorting machinery, as well as wreak havoc in the environment. That’s why these are progressively being banned around the world.

Some of the non-waste related sustainability ideas for Schools include:

A water usage audit.

The less water we use, the less we need to take from the environment via dams, bores, or desalination plants.

First, benchmark and track your water usage and determine what opportunities there are to reduce the requirement for this precious resource.

By checking the meter at defined times during the day, you will see when and how much water is being used. For example, if the site is using water during the night when no one is there, its likely the system is leaking.

Nex: Improve your water usage efficiency by:

  • Check for leaks and dripping taps, and fix them.
  • Fitting more efficient tap and shower heads, and nozzles.
  • Put sprinklers on timers.
  • Plant water efficient plants.
  • Use mulch to help garden beds retain moisture.
  • Lowering the pressure or fitting pressure reducing devices

Electricity is also an area for improvement, and the savings can also be significant.

Similar to water usage, first start by measuring initial usage, then usage by time of day.

You could well find that appliances are being left on when they are not needed, or are being run too hot or too cold, consuming more electricity.

Consider fitting timers, motion sensor switches, and other energy saving devices, such as LED light bulbs instead of incandescent and halogen type.

Make sure your fridge seals are efficient. If not, your fridge will be running far more often than needed.

Lastly, when it comes to buying electricity for a school, consider green sources of electricity that are generated via renewables only.

All of the tips on this page can be used as school sustainability projects – and the team can then report back to the school management and student body on the results, further promoting the teaching of sustainability in schools.

Nationwide Waste Solutions offers many waste and recycling services for schools, , including:

Waste Management

Waste Disposal

Wheelie Bin Hire

Washroom Services

Pest Control

Sanitary Disposal Services

Urinal Deep Cleaning

Grease Trap Cleaning

Confidential Document Destruction

Cardboard Recycling Sydney

Chemical waste management

Liquid waste removal Brisbane

Clinical waste management

Waste companies Sydney

Waste companies Brisbane

Skip Hire Sydney

E waste recycling

Food waste disposal

Waste Compactors

Plastic waste recycling

Timber recycling